A Lifelong Battle
When we receive Christ a lifelong battle begins. The Bible teaches that we have three enemies, the world, the flesh and the Devil. Some Christians seem willing to fight against the world and the Devil but are unwilling or unable to fight against their own flesh, their internal enemy. Some seem blissfully unaware that their flesh is an enemy. Some seem to have made peace treaties with their flesh. They do stop committing some sins, but there are other sins they tolerate. They do not recognize the reality that they are in a lifelong battle against their flesh. They are not as committed to fighting that battle as they should be. The battle does not mean we are lost. It is evidence that we are saved. I am writing about myself here as well as others.
1 John 3:4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
John 8:11: She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Romans 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
While there is no condemnation to those of us who are in Christ, before we received Him sin was our continual way of life. After we receive Him righteousness should become our continual way of life and the sin of our flesh should only be short interruptions to the righteousness.
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not. We do not sin when we abide in Him. We do sin when we live in the flesh and walk in the flesh. Sometimes believers do not even know the difference between when they are obeying the Lord and when they are obeying their flesh. Our flesh is deceitful. It would like to convince us that we are in the will of God when we are not. John knew about the victory we have in Jesus but he also knew about the battle we have with our flesh. He wrote about our sinful flesh and that we needed to confess our sins before he wrote about our position in Christ. Paul knew those things too.
1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
The first step in defeating an enemy is knowing that we have one. We must commit ourselves to the battle against that enemy. We must never quit the battle and never surrender. The more we study the Bible, the more battles we will win against the world the flesh and the Devil. The Bible will keep us from sin and sin will keep us from the Bible.
Psalms 119:11: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Romans 7:24: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
1 Corinthians 9:27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Isaiah 41:10: Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.